About us

Welcome to the blog pages of the Contemporary Histories Research Group at Deakin, a dynamic, diverse and distinctive group of historians, literary and creative writers, and others, whose work relates to the strongest echoes of the past in present.

In the pages on this site, you can find out about the seminars, publications, events, projects and much more generated by the Contemporary Histories Research Group.

Members of the Contemporary Histories group are concerned with the uses of history in the public sphere and public debate. They research and publish on a range of topics linked to the unfinished business of the modern past, including the (often-interconnected) following:

  • Australia’s indigenous past, including leadership, contact history, and the role of Christianity
  • Modern Pacific history, including special focus on Papua New Guinea
  • US History, including African American History
  • Revolution and the Holocaust in Europe
  • Change in modern Asia
  • Political, economic, social, and cultural influences of sport in history
  • Biography and other forms of life writing
  • Decolonisation: from colonial to postcolonial, as shown in historical, fictional, and performative interpretations
  • The political uses of history
  • Remembering conflict and its aftermath
  • Material culture and transmission
  • Religious change in Australia since the 1960s

CHRG members are always delighted to hear from potential research students and to receive other queries about their research.

If you are unable to find someone to assist you through the Deakin Staff, Associates or Postgraduates pages, please do not hesitate to contact CHRG administration.

Leadership team

Professor David Lowe

Professor David Lowe is Chair in Contemporary History in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. His teaching and research is primarily focused on modern international history, including Australia in the world, postwar international development and the legacies of modern conflicts. David is a co-founder of the Australian Policy and History network and a Fellow of the Academy for Social Sciences in Australia. He is also an Honorary Academic Fellow of the Australia India Institute and a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.

Associate Professor Clare Corbould

Associate Professor Clare Corbould is a historian of the United States with expertise in African American politics and culture. She has also published work on the transnational development of ideas about race and practices of racism and resistance in the US and Australia.

Tony Joel

Associate Professor Tony Joel

Associate Professor Tony Joel is an award-winning historian whose two main research interests, sports history and the politics of war memory and commemoration, have led to field and archival research trips conducted in ten countries. Tony chairs multiple units at Deakin, including the Holocaust, sport in history, and a new unit on the history of Australian football, which is the world's first university unit specifically devoted to this subject. Tony is a former German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) research scholarship holder, and in 2016 he received an Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities and the Arts in the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

Associate Professor Cassandra Atherton

Associate Professor Cassandra Atherton is an award-winning Australian prose-poet, critic and scholar. She is an expert on prose poetry, contemporary public intellectuals in academe and poets as public intellectuals, especially hibakusha poets. Most recently, Cassandra was a Visiting Scholar in English at Harvard University sponsored by Professor Stephen Greenblatt and she was a Visiting Fellow in the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University, Tokyo in 2014. She has published nineteen critical and creative books (with six more in progress) and has been invited to edit ten special editions of leading refereed journals.

Australian Policy
 and History

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